Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Profile: Khawar Qureshi, Pakistani counsel at ICJ in Kulbhushan Jadhav case


This week, the world saw a brilliant lawyer with a barristerial cap delivering his arguments against India at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague in Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case.

The way barrister Khawar Qureshi, along with Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan, demolished India’s narrative surrounding Jadhav one argument at a time, even his critics couldn’t help but admire his legal acumen.

Let’s have a look at the legal trajectory of Mr Qureshi, the man who, even today, flooded India with a barrage of flaws and loopholes in the arguments which it has presented against Pakistan so far.

Youngest advocate at ICJ

He holds a Master of Law (LLM) and Bachelor of Law (LLB, First Class) from the University of Cambridge.

Mr Qureshi was called to the bar in 1990. In 1993, he became the youngest advocate to appear in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as Counsel for Bosnia in the Genocide case against Yugoslavia.

Till now, he routinely appears at the International Court of Justice, most recently as the counsel for Pakistan.

A Silk Lawyer

From 1999 to 2006, he remained one of only 20 barristers which the UK government had appointed for representing it in civil matters.

In 2006, he took the Silk which is an informal term for being appointed as Queen’s Counsel (QC).

Being appointed a QC is the highest honour awarded by the Queen of England to a Barrister when they have demonstrated extraordinary expertise in the field of law.

Read More: Pakistan counsels decimate Indian narrative on Kulbhushan as ICJ hearing concludes

Before being appointed as a QC, he taught at Cambridge University, Kings College London, and the University of London where he imparted students with his knowledge in Commercial Law and Public International Law.

Several legal directories of the world recognise Mr Qureshi as a top advocate when it comes to international arbitration, administrative and constitutional law, public international law and commercial litigation.

First choice for governments around the world

He was also chosen by Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji to prosecute Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu in a corruption case.

He is currently associated with UK’s Serle Court Chambers and Qatar’s McNair Chambers. Serle Court describes him as “a very powerful advocate who works incredibly hard and gets on top of both the legal issues and the facts.”

Serle Court also describes him as “a barrister with phenomenal integrity who is effortlessly able to cross jurisdictions” – a feat which has enabled him to represent the UK and other governments in their international arbitration cases.

Perhaps this was also a consideration when Pakistan appointed him as its counsel in the critical case of Indian spy Jadhav.


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